China Strengthens Ties in Greater Eurasia

The China – Kyrgyzstan – Uzbekistan railroad will be extended to the south and west, and the Trans-Caspian International Route will be developed with Kazakhstan

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

At the 24th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State, China announced two intercontinental railway projects aimed at strengthening connectivity in Greater Eurasia.

First, the railroad line connecting China to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, two former Soviet republics of Central Asia, will also be extended to South and West Asian countries in the future. This was announced by China Railway, the Chinese state-owned company responsible for the project. It was originally planned that the railroad would start from Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang, pass through Kyrgyzstan, and reach its terminus in Uzbekistan. All three parties involved in the project agreed that further extensions to the west and south will be planned in the future.

Meanwhile, in Kazakhstan, on the sidelines of the summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev signed a law ratifying an agreement with China to develop the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), also known as the Middle Corridor, a network of rail and sea lines designed to connect Europe with the Far East. In addition to signing the ratification of the agreement on the transit of container trains that pass from China through the territory of Kazakhstan to Europe and which will operate within the Middle Corridor, President Tokayev also put his signature on the ratification of an agreement with China on international roads transportation. The agreements between Beijing and Astana are aimed at optimizing road, rail, and maritime transport networks and facilitating the movement of goods. Modern logistics centers will be established in both countries.